Jack Frost is like the worst guest at a party, the one who unexpectedly shows up way too early and stays long after everyone else has left. And then after he does leave, he shows up again an hour after you’ve gone to bed because he forgot his hat. Read below to learn how to Protect Your Plants. When a cold snap happens in early spring, it can kill new plant growth or new plantings, when your plants are at their most vulnerable state. During early spring, keep a close eye on the weather forecast, and when there’s a chance that the temperatures may dip below 32°F which usually occurs at night, take precautions to protect your plants from frost.
You can cover them with bedsheets, light blankets, drop cloths, frost cloths, light tarps, and garden blankets. When covering with a blanket, don’t lay it directly on the plants where the weight can damage the tender plants. Instead, place several stakes that are taller than the emerging plants throughout the plant bed, place the blanket over them, and stake the edges in the ground to prevent them from blowing away. Be sure to remove the covering first thing in the morning so that built-up moisture doesn’t freeze and damage the plants.
If you’ve started seeds in seed trays or easily moveable pots, move them into the garage or in the house for the night where the frost can’t get them.
These are glass, bell-shaped covers that trap the warmth from the day’s sun to protect the plant at night. If it’s too hot or too sunny during the day, cloches can try your plants but if you stick a small rock um one side to vent the air, they may not get overheated. Homemade cloches can be inverted plant pots, milk or water jugs, with the bottom cut out, or upside-down buckets.
A 3-4 inch cover of natural mulch will provide your seedlings and new plant growth with a cushion of warmth to keep out the frost. Mulch also holds moisture so the soil doesn’t dry out and dehydrate your plants. Thin it after the frost so you don’t hamper germination.
This may sound counterintuitive and that you’ll wake up to a bunch of plants frozen in blocks of ice but that’s not what happens. If you water your plants before the frost, the soil will release moisture into the air which increases the temperature around the plants.
The thin barks of fruit trees and other saplings are vulnerable to frost crack which can occur when drastic changes in temperature cause the inner wood and thin bark to contract at different rates. Wrap the trunk in loose burlap or tree wrap and tie with twine. Cardboard and pipe insulation work well too.
To avoid frost damage in the first place, choose native plants that are naturally tolerant of the weather conditions of the specific climate you live in and this handy native plant finder can help. Or choose hardy plants like crocuses, pansies, tulips, snapdragons, violets, forsythia, aubrieta, and dianthus are tolerate cold temperatures well.
Nature’s Mulch offers a wide variety of mulches that can help protect your plants from frost and look beautiful while doing it. We offer guidance so you get the right mulch in the right quantity.